Welcome to Perfomance Development Strategies.

We partner with our clients to help them determine where they want to go and what results they want to achieve.  Then we help you develop the action plan to make it happen.  We help our clients develop and manage strategic, cultural, and structural changes within their organizations. By working together, we can provide personalized processes and support materials that help turn goals into reality. We help organizations align their plan, people, and systems in order to gain a competitive edge.
We facilitate and coordinate programs to develop your company's human capital, focusing on attitude development, human relations, skill development, and goal setting.


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Customer Service and Customer Loyalty

The mastery of customer service can mean the difference between success and failure. The corporate trend of raising customer service is a business necessity. Customers are more willing to forgive a product failure than a service failure by a ratio of 5 to 1. If customer retention is important, then improving customer service must be the tactic. Unfortunately in many companies, the customer has become a low priority. When people are not treated according to their expectation, they will take their business elsewhere. What’s more, they relay their bad experience to ten or more other people. The question then becomes not whether to improve your companies service standard, but how?

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What is
coaching? Is it right for you?

Have you ever felt like you are navigating through your professional life alone? If you are like most executives and small business owners the answer is yes. In a corporation, the higher up the ladder you go the harder it is to find someone to discuss dreams, goals, actions, and success strategy. This is also true of the small business owner. Having a coach is like having a needed connection that cannot be made with others. For example:

Your spouse may listen but the dynamics of marriage relationship may cloud perspective and objectivity.

Your friends want to be helpful but they don’t have the training to identify real issues and they don’t have the time commitment.

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PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

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Grant Schneider

Grant Schneider

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Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
People debate what makes a good leader. Some feel that there are traits that make good leaders. But when I speak with my Westchester County NY business leaders about traits that make a good leader no one can agree. The only trait that is agreed upon is having empathy. Well then, what do have successful leaders have if they don’t have similar traits? All successful leaders have the ability to set goals and achieve results. This really what is meant by “management by objectives.”     Start with a clear strategic vision—a strategic plan that inspires. Then create goals that support that vision. Next, what are the desired results from your team members? Define them. Align your people and your processes and make sure that everyone understands the goals and the plan. All of your operations should be linked to your plan. Then virtually everything that happens should work toward achieving that...

Posted by on in Hiring and Selection
Have you found that is hard to avoid making a hiring mistake because the right person can’t be found? If you do, then there are some things you need to know. People who make hiring mistakes don’t necessarily look in the wrong places. They look for the wrong things and ask the wrong questions. Before beginning a search for a staff member, it is important to know the overall culture and critical success factors. Some think they know but only look at superficial misleading things. Finding the right employee begins with a process to define what deliverables or actions lead to success. How do you do that? You need to start at the beginning. What is your vision, values, and mission? You must only select people with these shared values. This is where many organizations fail. They look for specific things that they believe are important, but they fail to see...

Posted by on in Sales and Marketing
It is no accident that two core competencies of human resource professionals, for example, include consultation and relationship management. And this is no different for other professionals whether internal company consultants or external sales consultants. Trust is vitally important, and this is built on credibility and respect. With this new understanding, internal and external consultants can help in the decision-making process using information all parties have readily available, thanks to the Internet. They days where one side (usually the seller) had all the information is over. Dan Pink, in his book, “To Sell is Human,” talks about how we are all in sales so to speak. He calls this the art of moving people and it applies to everyone from consultants to teachers. The old formula of sales no longer works. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic no longer...
Tagged in: Sales

Posted by on in Fear of Change
Do you feel that you are hamster spinning on a wheel not knowing how to get off? The explanation might lie in the fact that we are by nature creatures of habit. These habits create a rut and that rut becomes the path of least resistance. Organizations and businesses are no different than people. A business gets stuck too. But by continuing to go with the flow we will decline. Let’s face it … we live in a changing world. EVERYTHING changes and it’s time to acknowledge the cold, hard truth. That is, much as we’d like to, we cannot control everything that happens to us in life. We can, however, change the way we react to what happens. One of the key reasons change might come hard has a lot to do with one of the tools your brain uses regularly. This tool helps you get through your days with...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Have you noticed that it is getting harder find good people and that when you do they do not stay long? What value do they find in working for you? That is known as your Employee Value Proposition. An Employee Value Proposition explains why a highly qualified employee would want to work for your company and why that highly qualified person would want to stay. This Employee Value Proposition would be tied to your strategic plan and include your vision, your values, and, your mission. The values should include such things as social responsibility, ethical conduct, and reputation. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
How many times have you heard the statement, “That is the way we have always done it.” We tend to look at the past when we create the future. If you don’t believe that then think about how you create your annual budget. Do you use the same items and just mess around with the numbers? What happens if this is disrupted. Yes, there are disrupters out there in every industry—people and companies doing something revolutionary to create a need. You may not see it coming. Have you ever thought, “if I disrupt my industry what would it look like?” You can’t wait for someone else to disrupt—you should be the disrupter. That takes more than predicting the future—that takes MAKING the future! These are some of the things you should you should be doing proactively: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real...

Posted by on in Customer Service
The best measure of business success is the loyalty of our clients. People do not buy what you sell. They buy you. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income, but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. Peter Drucker said the main reason for a business is to attract and retain customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say will...

Posted by on in Fear of Change
Why would anyone want to leave a comfortable place? One reason would be that someone wants more. The question is what we are willing to spend to have more. The amount we are willing to spend is the risk we are willing to take.   When you take that risk and step out of your comfort zone you begin to see real progress. Recently, a Westchester County NY business executive told me that he wants to advance in his career. He has been working hard but playing it safe and wondering when he is going to get his “turn.” Why does he feel he has to get a turn? Why doesn’t he just seize it? Another way to describe this thought process is what I would call “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my resume, my presentation, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the...

Posted by on in Communication
A recent study discovered that 70% of small to mid-size businesses claim communication is their primary problem. A business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications. This translates in an annual cost of $528,443.00. Could this be your reality? What can be done about improving communication, and how to get those wasted dollars back and reinvested in our other areas of your business, your division, or department? Communication is where it all starts. The importance of open communication, simply, cannot be overstated as it is fundamental in building trust, managing conflict, gaining commitment, maintaining accountability, and identifying team results. Much has been said and written about clear and concise communication. Much has been said about listening carefully. What if you are doing all of that but you still are having problems with your communication? We know that our message is affected by several things...

Posted by on in Attitudes and Behaviors
Most people looking at obstacles standing in their way fail to see the obstacles they create for themselves. The biggest obstacle is one’s under valuation of their own potential. This leads to second guessing and ultimately procrastination. Procrastination is something that we all must confront and deal with from time to time. It's only natural to procrastinate at times, but the way you deal with your procrastination patterns will determine what effects procrastination has on your life. Why is it that so many people start out with good intentions to achieve a goal but never achieve that goal? When you procrastinate you simply fail to act on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. You know you want the rewards and know you must act but you hold off, make excuses and, in short, procrastinate. Procrastination can be caused by a fear—a fear of failure...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
If you want your employees to take initiative they must have skin in the game. You can do that by letting them take ownership and pride in their work and their decisions. Rather than giving them very detailed instruction tell them what needs to be done and make them accountable for the results. This is the best way to get things done. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have you given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment....

Posted by on in Communication
Your attitude comes through in your communication. A positive uplifting message will lead to positive results. Unfortunately, the opposite is true when you have a negative message. Some time ago I had started working with two leaders of an organization. They complained of their many problems. It was their location, their clientele’ but most of all it was their employees. “We can’t get the right people to work for us,” they said. I spent some time interviewing them as well as a sample of people in their organization. There was a big disconnect. The employees wanted the organization to be successful. However, one owner was abusive in constant criticism and the other was running around putting out fires. This father and son team could not convey the goals of the organization and they were not even communicating completely the upcoming projects. The staff was frustrated. The father was totally exhausted because...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
How do you create a culture of accountability and create a high performing team? The best way to accomplish this is by motivating staff and team members to be proud to be accountable. Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”   Many times, we fear discussing results and performance because we feel we will not change behavior and we might create alienation. However, by avoiding we only have continued failure. Doing nothing and avoiding accountability is not an option if we want to create growth through improved results. How does a manager hold members of the staff responsible for performance? What about an employee who needs help but fears asking for help? The results can be devastating when we fail to have accountability discussions. The book, “Crucial Confrontations”, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
What is your leadership and management style? Have you ever thought about it or has anyone asked you? It is true that different environments require a different style. Leadership and management is much more complex than mastering an individual job. For that reason and others as well, the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. I had the opportunity a while ago to be part of a group invited to listen to Ken Blanchard discussing building trust, creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, leadership and organizational change. Ken reinforces some of the values and beliefs that been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand, a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason that is so is that you need to learn how...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
What is good about your business and what could be improved? Would you like to know? Before you answer that question, I have another. Can you handle the truth? Sometimes when an organization asks for help and receives feedback it could be surprised to learn some inconvenient truths. If you really want to improve your organization you will want to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you can’t handle the truth you won’t have an opportunity to make things better. If you want to learn how to improve your organization, you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are very effective assessment instruments available to generate a fact-based picture of organizational performance. However, it is important to have a mutual understanding of the process first. So, before I begin the process I want to make sure that it will have a meaningful impact. I...

Posted by on in Vision and Values
It is important that a business clearly define its values and work with those who share those values. Unfortunately, many businesses still need to clearly define their core values so that there is no question where they stand. For that matter, how many businesses can say why they are in business or articulate their basic business foundation? You might be surprised at how few really can. Any successful business needs to have vision—that is what the business will look like when it is successful. You must have a dream if you want to have a dream come true. Your core values are of greater importance than vision. These are your ideals you live by. These are your non-negotiables. If you know why you are in business, if you have a vision, and you have values you may then build your marketing plan and you will know how to make the right...

Posted by on in Attitudes and Behaviors
Some people find the task of selecting the right employee to be a very difficult task. But that does not have to be the case. A diligent hiring manager may spend time studying a candidate’s resume and asked questions about experience. But then, as one manager told me with a sign, you really have no idea until they are hired. Sadly, most organizations fail at hiring the right people. This occurs at organizations with a human resources department as often as it happens with the small business owner. The good news is that you can begin to hire the right people. Here is a simple fact. Managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Many companies even do background checks. They spend a significant amount of time looking at a candidate’s skills and knowledge before extending an employment offer. Later...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
It is important that a leader exercise proper control. However, if you exercise too much control you could hurt your business. But it can be tough to let go. Here is how it can happen. A business is started by an owner with a vision to create a great product or service. The owner must spend much time working in the business to make sure that the product or service gets out, the money gets collected, and the bills get paid. That is very important for business survival. The owner works hard IN the business. He or she must attend to every detail and, if he forgets one thing, it could be a disaster. The business owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business. Why is this problematic? When the owner starts the business he or she needs to...

Posted by on in Competencies and Strengths
You will be so much more productive if you are able to know your strengths. In most cases you like what you do well. So why are people beating themselves up trying to improve their weaknesses. I think it is foolish to try to improve your weaknesses or limitations. Even if you attempt to do it you will never be fully satisfied, and you will be in a constant state of stress. But isn’t that what many of us try to do?   When your child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English, what is your response? That’s right. Most people will talk to their child about raising the grade in English. But what if your child might have a real talent in math? He or she might become a...

Posted by on in Vision and Values
Many people start a business and develop a plan to market and sell their product and service.  But if that is all they have, in my opinion, there is a key ingredient missing.  Your need vision if your business is to survive and thrive.  And you also need values.  They should make it perfectly clear what type of company you are.  Surprisingly, many businesses cannot say why they are in business nor can they articulate their basic business foundation and founding principles.  Why you are running the business is more important than how you run it.  If you find that statement hard to believe then read on. Any successful business needs to have vision—that is what the business will look like when it is successful.  Your vision is your dream and as Walt Disney said, you must have a dream if you want to have a dream to come true.  Of...


Grant has worked with us at MAS to provide expert strategic planning knowledge and direction, effective goal setting and team development. I highly recommend his services to anyone who is looking to grow, organize or even redefine their business growth goals. Marshall that he had the greatest sales increase in 2012 30%

December 6, 2012, ~ Lisa Schmid and Marshall Marinace



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